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Preconceptions And The Blunting Of Imagination

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul>
Date: Wed, 09 Nov 2011 06:58:33 -0500
Archived: Wed, 09 Nov 2011 06:58:33 -0500
Subject: Preconceptions And The Blunting Of Imagination

Source: ScientificAmerican.com


November 8, 2011

Lessons From Sherlock Holmes: Preconceptions And The Blunting Of
By Maria Konnikova

Sometimes, the impossible takes place: Sherlock Holmes makes a
mistake. Yes, it happens. The master detective falls prey to
some of the very errors he urges us to avoid. If even he
falters, what chance do we mere mortals have? Well, for one, we
can examine those moments when Holmes does go wrong and see what
we can learn from the shortcomings of the normally infallible
master - after all, it is often in the very errors and flaws of
a process that we are able to discern the most about how
something actually functions.

In Silver Blaze, one of the paragons of logical reasoning,
Holmes admits to a rare lapse in judgment. In the story, a prize
horse goes missing. As Holmes and Watson head to Dartmoor to
help with the investigation, Holmes mentions that on Tuesday
evening, both the horseís owner and Inspector Gregory had
telegraphed for his assistance on the case. The flummoxed Watson
responds, "Tuesday evening! And this is Thursday morning. Why
didnít you go down yesterday?" To which Holmes answers, "Because
I made a blunder, my dear Watson - which is, I am afraid, a more
common occurrence than anyone would think who only knew me
through your memoirs. The fact is that I could not believe it
possible that the most remarkable horse in England could long
remain concealed, especially in so sparsely inhabited a place as
the north of Dartmoor."

And there you have it.  The great Holmes has made a blunder.

A failure of imagination...

[More at site... thanks to 'The Norm' for the lead]

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